Motion Picture Daily (Jul-Sep 1956)

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Teleuision Today A CONCISE REPORT AND ANALYSIS OF THE SIGNIFICANT NEWS AND EVENTS spotlighting the News opy Days i.BC-TV is radiating good itr, happy smiles and optimistic a'»ments these days, with a res|:h report as of the beginning this month showing recordeking network billings for the •s five months of this year. The 12100,000 gross network billings t represents an increase of 78 ncent over the same period in 'I and an actual dollar gain of 4!00,000. The five-month gross I year, ABC shouts, almost ii lied the total for the whole of I, and the $14,200,000 increase I 78 per cent more than the oined gross network billings rL949 and 1950. There are more roarisons like that, but the wellfen point is that ABC-TV is ridgvery high, very wide and very .i some. 11300,000 Development I concrete result of those two l.s of Hollywood meetings Iig Screen Gems executives ii the setting aside of a budget 1,000,000 for the development lew programs for the 1957-58 last season. To this end, Milton ■man, who joins the company jj ce-president in charge of proaiming, will negotiate with in C CAUSE FOR ALARM •IC-TV's Goodyear Theatre a week • last night (Sunday, June 30) preid "The Film Maker," by Malvin (1 (brother of Columbia's Jerry) and f Jacobs, which although dramaMr imperfect and over-simplified in fusion, attempted — precedent ally — lifine changes taking place in the In picture industry. To those memf of the film industry who thought lirama a calculated dirty blow on iaart of the upstart, it might be mid out that on occasion no one S >een quite as vitriolic in exposing lis TV "shortcomings" as television Soodyear's alternate sponsor, in the season just concluded pre4 chilling portraits of (a) an imjle TV comedian, (b) foolish ad :y executives and (c) boorish sponn an effective piece called "Man Tiger." Also, NBC-TV's Kraft Thea|i a play, "Good Old Charlie Fay," lo ribbons a TV "personality" and Wjs network vice-presidents. "Charlie iy incidentally, is being made into t atrical film by Joseph L. Mankie f-v. C dependent producers and stars for new packages to be included in the quota of 20. Production of all pilots will take place between this September and December, so that the completed prints will be in the hands of the sales force no later than January. Making the announcement, Ralph Cohn, vicepresident and general sales manager, pointed out that "one of the problems television faces is that pilots for new shows frequently come on the scene so late that when they are sold there is not enough time to prepare the whole series properly. By the beginning of the calendar year, we will have eight to 10 months to shoot the series." Writers Award Writers ► The Writers Guild of America, East and West, has set about a task which should be well-nigh impossible for anyone but a group of writers: picking the best television and radio scripts of the 1955-56 season. Under the rules of the game, each of the 1,400 WGA members may submit his best script in any or each of the eight TV and four radio categories. A complicated and foolproof method has been devised so that no author will be called upon to judge his own script (aw heck). The reason for all this is no special dissatisfaction with other award-givers, although it may be a contributing factor. The winning scripts will be published in book form, some of the proceeds from which may find their way back to the Guild. Words from NBC ► The following are just some of the highlights of the thousands of words which poured forth from the NBC press department in the last eight days: The largest advertising schedule ever purchased on the network's participating programs has been ordered by the Admiral Corporation on Today and Tonight; it amounts to almost $2,500,000 and calls for daily announcements on the two shows for 52 weeks starting September 3. Beginning with last Wednesday's show, the Kraft Theatre is now on a full-color schedule through the show of September 3. And, the network's coverage of five intercollegiate regional football games in each of the eastern, Big Ten and Pacific coast districts this Fall is threequarters sold out. The network's coverage of eight national NCAA football games was sold out some time ago. Statistics ► Interesting, encouraging statistics emerged last week from the 10th annual cost-of-doing-business survey of the National Appliance and Radio-Television Dealers Association in Chicago. Reported: a 10.1 per cent increase in radio and TV dollar sales volume in 1955 over 1954. The net profit ratio of 3.4 per cent was the highest since 1950. The 1956 prospect is good, with 63 per cent of the responding dealers expecting an increase in sales, while only 20 per cent foresaw declines. Pre Pre-Convention ► Starting next Sunday afternoon, ABC-TV in its new "Campaign Roundup" begins its coverage of the political year in earnest. The show will be a sort of pre pre-convention roundup, presenting ABC and Newsweek correspondents in reports from all over the nation on trends and late political developments which will have a bearing on the two conventions. Quincy Howe will be moderator. Objection ► Dudley Leslie, secretary of the British Screen and Television Writers Association, recently registered a strong objection to the inclusion of more and more im (Continued on page 8, col. 4) In Our View IT IS, at the very least, difficult to understand what was in the minds of those responsible for the publication recently of the notorious "Blacklist Report," prepared by John Cogley and sponsored by the Fund for the Republic, of which Robert M. Hutchins is president and Paul G. Hoffman, chairman of the board. Allegations in the report that a "powerful clearance ring" could give or withhold jobs from suspected Communists in the radio and television industry, were completely unsubstantiated, and the demands of Frederick Woltman, the Scripps Howard specialist, that the Fund for the Republic supply proof of the existence of that alleged ring, or supply at least information as to the source of that allegation, met with the bland and blank refusal to divulge a "source of news information." It is most unfortunate, in cases of this sort, that so often the truth never quite catches up with the rumor, the smear, the untruth, or whatever particuar type of attack is used to do the damage, and to an extent at least this is true in this instance. It is especially dismaying that here a whole industry, in effect, falls under an indictment, and one which under the pressure of true evidence, doubtless would fall of its own false weight. A "true bill" could never emerge from careful inquiry. As Mr. Woltman said originally, on publication of the report : ". . . the report cannot help but bring joy and comfort to the Reds." The radio-television industry, so much a public service, so much a source of great good for the nation as a whole, is here placed unfairly in an awkward position. It can only be hoped that those who come upon the Fund's report and its allegations will also view the charges with suspicion, and seek the truth before condemning. — Charles S. Aaronson